How Detroit Became America’s Warzone

How Detroit Became America’s Warzone


Ridin’ across Detroit – nothing new for decades.
In part the hood resembles a war zone… as time passes more and more buildings abandoned
and set on fire. Far from the iconic image of an Industrial center, the real Detroit
is an illustration of the negative side of the globalization, the consequences of the
Communications and Information Age, the roadside of the digital highway. My friend ain’t here, She might bring me something
to eat. How many people live here, in this apartment? Four. Is this vicinity dangerous? Very Why? Because
they’ve been killing people, a lot of gangs run through here and have their initiations, What did you
do on Ford? Just putting on tires, on assembly line. I mean automobile industry is going
to China. You know we’re losing lot of jobs here, especially in Michigan. Luis worked at Ford and knows much about globalization — He is typical of the homeless in Detroit. There are more than 15,000 homeless in the
city. They are enthusiastic speakers when it comes to reasons for their problems.
Businesses are going from United States. Lot of businesses going like…Canada is getting
some, Mexico is getting some, because its cheaper labor, and they don’t have to pay
as much hospitalization and Union dudes and all that staff, And the employment and the
rate of pay is a whole lot cheaper, so that’s where they going. There’s no work in Michigan.
Even people with degrees have a hard time getting work. If you ride around some neighborhoods,
East side, West side, all you see is vacant houses, All you see is vacant
houses man, And you see this white pieces of paper in that window in the vacant house,
that means it was evicted. Michigan Central Depot — a Detroit landmark,
it tells a lot about the city’s history and its path of the Industrial development. Built
in 1913 it used to be the symbol of new modern times and prosperity. Henry Ford made it a
business center at the crossing of the railroads and trams lines. The Great Depression put an
end to the economical development. The Great Highway system replaced the railroad and put
an end to the Depot. It was simply not needed in the time of the car. A symbol of the automobile’s
complete triumph over public transportation the Station is still there as well as all
the surrounding buildings. Good times never came back to the area. Some of the buildings
were used as storages till early 90-s but at some point people left completely, they
left all their stuff inside, like if it was infected with a deadly virus, but the real
reason is simple — it would cost money. I think they don’t fix it its because its
too expensive, and there’s no use for it. And I think that says a lot about American
culture, of things being disposable, even beautiful buildings are disposable.
Charles Psenka is a Detroiter with roots but the only reason for him to visit the city
is his hobby — the web-site devoted to abandoned buildings. He takes photos and then posts
them online. His business and home are couple of hours from Detroit. Charles says the abandonments
are used often to store and sell drugs and are very dangerous — there can even be booby-traps
to protect the illegal trade. This are all measuring spoons, three different
sets, four different sets, one two three, four. There were probably used to cook heroin.
Would be my guess. Right about the time the automotive industry quit this city I guess would be a
good starting point for the decline. A lot of jobs left, A lot of secure jobs left, very
good manufacturing jobs, a lot of that may be had to do with the unions, that the Unions
fought so hard, and so well for the workers, that may be the companies couldn’t afford
them anymore? Casinos, make sure you film casinos before you leave town. They are beautiful
buildings, brand new gorgeous buildings. And the areas around them are also brand new,
beautiful. And occupied, lots of people going in and out. Lots of money being spent. Its
all based on gambling you know, and the city make a good enough of money out of that. Another example of the decline — the legendary
Carl’s steak-house. It been here for almost a century and once had dozens of waiters and
cooking staff. You say a motherfucker in Russia? Forget about
it. This is America. Today the chief Ioannis and the waiter Max
are among the few members of staff. Max is a Russian immigrant and has worked
here for 30 years. 20 years ago you couldn’t come in into this
restaurant. You had to wait in line for about 45 minutes to get a table. Right now look
— its empty, on the regular, on the Sunday. Monday rush hour. Not a surprise the center
is empty. Dozens of buildings here are abandoned, including
twelve of the skyscrapers. The main question — what to do with this massive but useless
architectural structures — has remained unanswered for decades. The only giant in this ghost
Downtown is the General Motors headquarters – the Renaissance center. The industry leader
has its offices here. But the manufacturing facilities are in areas where labor is cheaper.
The nearest GM plants are right across the river, in Canada. The country gives incentives
worth hundreds of millions of dollars to GM and other carmakers in order to create more
jobs for its citizens. The Renaissance center hasn’t lived up to
its name. GM closed four of its plants at its home in Michigan, in 2006 to 2008 and
six in other states. More than 12 000 American jobs will be lost. With new plants opening
in other corners of the world, GM now employees almost 3 hundred thousand people in 31 countries.
That’s the equivalent to third of Detroit’s total population.
And this building Downtown is ground zero for the Detroit Industrial age — the first
Ford workshop. The automobile boom started here …and here the assembly line was invented.
It would take the car industry away from its home town later. The building hides a place
that encapsulates the story of Detroit more than any other. Michigan Theatre built in 1926 used to be
the biggest in the city. It now a car park — a symbiosis of art and cars in the Motorcity.
The theater lost the struggle with Television as the people moved out from Detroit. After
the Theatre was closed in the mid sixties it became a porn cinema, than a rock club,
but neither were financially viable. Only car parking for the workers of the office
building nearby proved to be a money earner — a tough but profitable decision.
June and Lester Thompson are architecture and history teachers in the University of
Michigan and work on various learning projects on the city development of Detroit. They call
the total dependence on automobile manufacturing — Detroit’s crucial mistake in the Industrial
age. And the main problems began with the modernization of the industry.
They wanted to have long assembly line. And they couldn’t make a long assembly line unless
they had more land, because they couldn’t do it with four storey factories. So they
were beginning to look for the land that will allow them to have this assembly lines and
they began to leave the city. Whites began moving out to the suburbs. But blacks were
not allowed to move to the suburbs. And so you had and increasingly black and poor population
that was consentrated in the central city. The developers are now seeking to breathe
life back into the city streets and buildings. And some solutions turn upside down our understanding
of a city. The class that I worked with this semester
… There was so much vacant land in the neighborhood that we were working with that we actually
thought that one of the best options would be farms, to turn some of the vacant land
into farms. I think the word city has already changed. Yes, It has already changed for Detroit. Charles Psenka’s brewery is far outside Detroit
and is a typical model of local businesses. Charles says in a world of global communications
and information there is a total freedom to choose where to live, work and where to set
up your business. And that is why the city as a civilization phenomenon hasn’t survived
the changes. The city of Detroit has been facing some attrition
lately. Within the past several decades its been declining in population. Last statistics
guide of Detroit has 800 thousands people that actually live within the city proper.
The greater metropolitan area of South-East Michigan is over 4 million. So there is a
lot of people that live around Detroit but don’t live actually in Detroit. I think the
world is shrinking So I think its inevitable. Globalization has an impact on us in everything
from our bottle prices from our hops?? to the malt, And globalizations makes it perhaps
easier for us to sell beer in places like Japan or Denmark which have been a little
bit more difficult lets say a decade ago. In general the situation in Detroit can’t
be described as a disaster as it may seem judging by the images. The homeless in Detroit
have food delivered by various humanitarian organizations. Shelters are quite a common
thing for the area. But that can never be enough for the crisis zone. Some people like to mess with homeless people,
you know, they like to mess with handicapped people in wheelchairs, you know, young guys,
they call it having fun, you know, they are crazy, you know, they call it party, when
six guys jump on one guy, they call it party. When I was at Ford I worked on the line.
Assembly line. Putting up tails. And stuff like that. I didn’t hold that job very long.
The whole plant shut down and moved out of the city. That was about 20 years ago. I’m
fifty five years old and that was about 20 years ago. They send more money out of the
country than they spend here on their own people. That’s a shame, you want to raise your
homeless and can’t get no help. So many people are homeless and the shelters are full,
like tonight, shelters are full so I stay here. When the shelters ain’t full, I stay in the shelters
when I can, you know, or sometimes I stay with my friends, I never know, each night
I don’t know where I’m staying at night. People have been dying and it become a regular,
they froze, they OD, somebody fuck them up, you know, I’m telling you its just a bunch of chaos, man, bunch of chaos,
its sad, sad, So who will miss the city when its gone. Workers
in the car industry headquarters? The managers of global sales? The people who work in the few remaining skyscrapers down town? And what will they miss,
the spirit, the mood of the city? It appears that the era of the urban giants in the Western
world is passing. And Detroit is becoming one of the first ghosts of the industrial
age.

100 thoughts on “How Detroit Became America’s Warzone

  1. About 40+ years ago,  Doctor Khlan sentenced one of his enemies to be taken to Detroit.  The guy screamed, "No…anything but that!".

  2. May 26th 2019 Detroit will receive hundreds of thousands of Mexicans Honduras Guatemala sandinistas and Cubans all pushed into Democrat strongholds but then Democrats want open borders and with it city of Detroit the counties will have to fund all the funding there won't be section 8 housing available because that's being cut 25% from the housing authority welfare system under Ben Carson's administration what a smart man he is. Is profession he's a brain surgeon. Now all the black people now if you can have kumbaya you know how black people get together with Mexican people demonstrate burn the American flag now you going to have is cultural backwards from South America but they'll be bringing the drug dealers and their rapists going to be quite interesting are the people from South America will have to get along with the black race in Detroit or you know how was 1981 black people start killing Cuban people. The Cubans want to war and killed a thousand or more black people who deserved it Diane going to have to deal with the the badass South American invasion. No federal money because Detroit is an open City. I think the so-called black population of gangbangers are going to be replaced

  3. In all white area's what I hear a lot now is there is no "diversity" there. Detroit has "diversity." So does Haiti, South Africa ….

  4. Right out of the gate the delusion starts about the problem being "globalization". Those left in Detroit are victims. I don't subscribe to that delusion. I'm not a victim, I'm make my success, thank you very much.

  5. There's a reason why when you see a city go to sh*t, all that is left are black people. Black people, by nature, are tribal, meaning they can't think outside the collective group. White people are nomads, if that's the right term. It means that when they come across an issue with the tribe, they either fix the issue or move to another place.

  6. Fast forward to 2019 – Trump has been president for 2.5 years and Detroit is making a comeback!!

    Whitey be buyin up all dem abandonated houses and fixin dem up….den dey raisin da rents!! Move nigga…move!

  7. You should have seen it when it was a all white city. It was beautiful and hard working. Thanks to the dems and their social welfare programs and other cultures we have the biggest ghetto in the world and it's every one else's fault but the blacks.

  8. Coleman Young ruined the city. Coleman was a member of the Communist party so he would fit right in with all the Socialists in the Dem party. You would think that Dems would run from this man's ideas but they do not. Baltimore escaped a a bullet when they got rid of their mayor who tried to run the city just like Coleman. No one ever ruined a city so quickly and permanently as Young.

  9. Interesting how NO ONE blames the root of the problem which is G O V E R N M E N T. America has the highest corporate tax rates in the WORLD. Combine that with the thousands of never ending regulations, lawsuits, bloated union wages and pensions and you have a recipe for disaster.

  10. Detroit is what you get when liberals experiment with people’s livelihoods. The Democrat Party has ran Detroit for 70 years.

  11. Line up some D11 earth movers blades to blade, set them up at one end of town put them in low gear and commence clearing!

  12. Detroit like many of America’s urban centers is plagued by dirty corrupt politicians who have prioritized their own wealth and power over the well being of the people. Progressive policies seek to destroy America from within.
    What will people miss about Detroit…what is was before it was exploited by the politicians and their union buddies.

  13. I remember when Charlie Psenka was young and he got a hold of a pricing gun in the Fish Hook. Good times haha!

  14. It’s sad that they don’t make the casinos 🎰 give back to the city they are raping.You would think that the city could get something from that but nope 👎 they just take and never give.

  15. Uhm….. Okay, So 12 sky scrapers abandoned……we have been taking in Refugees for like 8 years and a entire country's people running from the hostile and dangerous conditions have already begun trying to get here.
    Why can't we give them housing there? It would make it worth bringing some business back and some jobs. It's a much better plan instead of doing what they did for the Muslim immigrant refugees and built new homes and practically gave them the entire city of Dearborn, Michigan. This new wave coming in will be given the same abilities of getting a business bank loans to kick start bringing the city back. Maybe even a stimulus package.

  16. I definitely agree with the guy about Detroit being way to dependent on the auto industry for its survival. As a native of Michigan it’s sad to see what has become of places like Detroit and Flint.Its also sad to see that Detroit is only hanging on because of the gambling industry which feeds itself of the misfortune of the people that live there.It is nice to see that some new development is happening there but honestly I think way to much damage has been done already for Detroit to ever bounce back to even a quarter of what it use to be.

  17. This is a crime, Demacrats have shown all of us what they have done, just look, Now is the time to vote Republican, voteing Demacrat sure the hell is not going to change anything,If this is America, it don’t look good friends.

  18. blacks "are more psychopathic than whites" and suffer from a "personality disorder" characterized by a poverty of feeling, lack of shame, pathological lying and so on.

  19. Busta Rhymes say…..if you aint from the Ghetto stay the f..k out the Ghetto …..im go have to go with Busta on this one……….i was born and razed in the Detroit in 65 lived there off and on till…. 2000…..aint in no hurry to go back…..i still have the memories …….of growin up in detroit when things wasnt so……….wow what can i say…happy to be where im at.

  20. How did you get into some of these places in 2025 especially that station.. it was locked off from the public did you break in?

  21. Interesting. Now let's see a documentary on cities in Kentucky after the coal mines shut down and see how Whites are living there. Poor as a muthafucka. Hooked on meth and opioids. Same in West Virginia, Kansas and all over middle America. Negative birth rate worldwide too? Yea there are plenty of rich white people but the far majority of y'all are bums and that's a fact. Oh and stay away from children for God's sake, I know how nasty y'all muthafuckas are.

    Just came back from Florida. Was happy to see how them opioid pills was tearing y'all's children up. Karma in effect. Because crack hurt us but that is fazing out. New generation ain't in that. Y'all muthafuckas however? Oxycodone and all that shit is stealing your teens this time. Karma bitch. Heroin and meth too. About the year y'all ass up

  22. Crack hit us hard in the 80's and 90's yea. Just how meth, heroin and opioids is hitting them muthafuckas NOW. So they so busy talking shit about black people that they are falling to see how their youth is getting tore up on pills. They already at a negative birth rate. So they can laugh and talk shit now until…….to be continued

  23. This guy include Canada ?Canada is about to lose their GM plant by the end of Oct 2019 so he need to get his info updated lol!

  24. need a narrator that can speak American … omg cant pronounce the names of things in Detroit … need a translator for gods sake. Learn the proper American version of your own English.

  25. This don't post happen to any body we all human remind me living bronx 197080smallchild still love the bronx and still going thru shit God help people detroitgodpless

  26. So many ignorant and racist people in these comments. There are more things that determine a city’s wealth than what political party is in power or if the city has blacks living in it. Detroit is run by Democrats and has blacks in it cause it’s poor, not the other way around.

  27. White america should stand up for the black violence and we should start standing up to the pussy bitch police

  28. I know so many people that work downtown but live an hour outside the city or even in Canada, so the city itself never sees the money

  29. How American people can live in a country like this? It' s looks like Walkin' dead.it' s all beyond our worst fantasies….violence, drugs murders everywhere…smalltowns, big cities..we have problems in Italy…but this …for me it's a nightmare…American dream? American nightmare…

  30. I’m Asian and I can tell today detroit made by black people as I’m living in Detroit at this moment. Anyway, I’m moving out soon. 7 miles is filled with thugs and dopes, all black. Even 13 yr old black will rob you at gas station. I’m not racist but telling the truth. Truth hurts mostly.

  31. The city isn't much different today. Downtown is becoming much safer and "better looking" but the people that live there it isn't helping. Hate to bring the race card so I'll just say that the hipsters seem to be overtaking much. The government though has done nothing. Detroit kind of became like Moldova or Romania. City was simply used to siphon money outta the workers. Reasons imo this was allowed was a complex combination of cultural divide, racial divide and segregation, and obviously just plain greed.

  32. Wouldn't it make sense to permanently station the National Guard in the city and declare martial law to ensure safety again?
    It's insane how many people got killed there.

  33. If you stay in school and learn a better way to go, this stinking toilet of a former city doesn't have to define your life. I grew up in the shadow of Tiger Stadium, managed to get my education anyway, and moved to the suburbs. For all practical purposes, Detroit's been quarantined by the suburbs around it. We call it the Combat Zone for a good reason: it's a culture of crime, habitually addicted to violence. Nobody around here in their right mind would go into the city.

  34. Ignorant citizens that would rather vote for crooked democrats based on their race not what they’re about so the people get what they deserve

  35. black people need to realize that we're not just going to hand everything over to them…. it's time to up your educational skills…. this is what happens when you take the easy way out

  36. The length of the assembly line? Please… The auto workers union demanded too much money so they moved the car factories where labor was cheaper.

  37. ugh.. black ppl r not only v much so “allowed” in the suburbs, but also they do actually exist there… j disproportionately bc unfortunately many poc r low-income or even poverty stricken, & therefore, j like any poor person, cant afford a house in the burbs.. sry but y do ppl have to pukl the race card constantly even when the situation has nothing to do w racism.. thats what makes ppl not take it srs

  38. People need to put their differences together this was once a thriving city. Times have changed so sad to go home and see this

  39. Bullshit. It is a town torn apart by racial strife. Anyone of any race with more than a dollar to his name left, and I include me in that group. It is run mostly by inept blacks. White mayor working hard to fix 50 years of Liberal bullshit, hardly making a dent. How are you going to get those with income and young children to move back into the city ? Simple. You're not. And though Downtown is rocking, no one lives there, they drive in from the burbs. Spend their dough, go to the casino or games and go back home.

  40. A war zone is caused by overwhelming destruction caused by opposing forces.
    Detroit is caused by Black inertia….get it right!

  41. Detroit is so bad it doesn't even look like America. This video must be old because Detroit's current population is 650,000 and ranks as the 26th largest city in the US. In 1950 it was 5th.

  42. murders in America cities 2012:chicago506

    New York 418

    Detroit 386
    Los Angeles 299
    2018 chicago 561
    New york 289
    Detroit 261 %|/

  43. can;t believe the black vs white is still going on nowadays …divide and conquer …and they will succeed …they made us hate each other …sad

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